Money & Banking
RBI extends restriction on co-op banks for loan against gold coins

In a notification, the RBI said while granting advance against the security of specially minted gold coins sold by banks, co-operative banks “should ensure that the weight of the coin(s) does not exceed 50 grams per customer”

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the restriction on advance against gold on co-operative banks as well, a move aimed at curbing demand for gold.


In a notification, the RBI said while granting advance against the security of specially minted gold coins sold by banks, state/central co-operative banks “should ensure that the weight of the coin(s) does not exceed 50 grams per customer”.


Also the amount of loan to any customer against gold ornaments, gold jewellery and gold coins (weighing up to 50 grams) should be within the board approved limit, it added.


Earlier, similar restrictions were imposed on commercial banks.


The RBI’s latest move comes in the backdrop of government raising import duty on gold to 8% from 6%.


The central bank has also advised banks not to sell gold coins, finance minister P Chidambaram said yesterday.


RBI has also imposed restrictions on gold imports by banks.


Surge in gold imports has become a cause of concern for both the government as well as the RBI as it putting pressure on the current account deficit, which is likely to be around 5 per cent of the GDP in 2012-13.


RTI Judgement Series: Transferring of Delhi’s 'monkey menace' to the villages

Monkeys caught in Delhi were released in the Asola Wild Life Sanctuary, which the appellant claimed was beyond the capacity of the sanctuary. The CIC directed the PIO to facilitate inspection of the sanctuary by the appellant. This is the 109th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while disposing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) and deputy conservator of forest (South) of Forest & Wildlife Department (FWD) at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), to facilitate an inspection of Asola Wild Life Sanctuary by the appellant.


While giving this judgement on 16 June 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The appellant and the respondent have agreed that the appellant will visit and inspect the sanctuary on 16 June 2010 from 10.00am onwards. The PIO will facilitate an inspection by the appellant on that day.”


New Delhi resident Om Prakash Tanwar, on 6 August 2009, sought information about monkeys being caught in Delhi and released in the sanctuary from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the FWD. Here is the information he sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and reply provided by the PIO...


a. Approval letter of NGOs/RWA of the area from where monkeys have been taken into possession for release in forest of Tughlakabad range in the last five years.       

PIO's reply: No such reports available on record.


b. Copy of delivery receipts issued by the department to MCD and NDMC whenever monkeys were delivered in the aforementioned area in the abovementioned time period.      

PIO's reply: Copy of such receipts not maintained. Same may be obtained from the Veterinary Department of MCD.


c. Areas where monkeys are kept, if open then the mechanism used to stop them from fleeing the forest area.         

PIO's reply: The object of releasing them is to rehabilitate them in natural habitat and not subject them to any restraint.


d. Details of last five years as to date of visit of officials (name/ designation/ vehicle number) to catch monkeys in the area and total number caught.     

PIO's reply: No monkeys have been caught by this Department.


e. Number of monkeys present in forest area and total number that have fled.  

PIO's reply: No such reports available on record.


f. Number of people engaged in looking after the monkeys, names, designation and salaries of the last five years.       

PIO's reply: No person specifically deputed to look after the monkeys. However, they are fed by 15-20 labourers who are supervised by. Dharam Singh, Dy. Range Officer, Asola Bhatti range and Shri Kesar Singh, Forest Guard, Mali. Salaries drawn cannot be disclosed.


g. Expenses incurred in keeping monkeys alive in forest range in the last five years.

PIO's reply: Requisite information already provided. Inspection of the books of account maybe done and copies be obtained.


h. Number of water ponds, reservoirs created for providing drinking water to the monkeys.  

PIO's reply: None has been created.


i. Copies of original bills submitted by suppliers to the department for release of payment against feeding material for monkeys.     

PIO's reply: Same as (g) above.


j. Number of suppliers supplying feeding materials. Specify owners name, address and reasons for selecting these agencies only for the supply.

PIO's reply: Feed is procured from Kendriya Bhandar (grains/cereals) and from APMC, Azadpur(Fruits/vegetables). Procurement is being done from being reputed suppliers at reasonable rates.


k. Any publishing done by the department inviting open tender from the market with respect to supply feeding material for the monkeys in forest area.   

PIO's reply: NO


l. Inspection of entire files relating to supply of feeding material bills, receipts etc, and also of living conditions of the monkeys and new monkeys coming from different parts of Delhi.    

PIO's reply: Relevant records may be perused on any working day in office. Current file relating to procurement if unavailable due to being in submission before a higher authority shall be made available immediately on receipt of the same.


Claiming that the PIO did not reply within the mandated 30 days as per the RTI Act, Tanwar, the applicant filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) in his order asked the deputy conservator of forest for south and PIO to make arrangement for inspection of the concerned files/records by Tanwar.


Still not satisfied with the information provided by the PIO, the applicant approached the CIC with his second appeal.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the PIO has provided the information to Tanwar. However, after the inspection and obtaining the information, Tanwar, the appellant had serious problem with “transferring Delhi's problem to villagers”.

The PIO stated that as per the order from the high court, monkeys were being caught in Delhi and released in Asola Wild Life Sanctuary, which has an area of 7,000 acres. The total number of monkeys released in the sanctuary so far was over 12,000, which was in excess of the carrying capacity of the sanctuary.


To this, Tanwar stated that “These monkeys are now harassing the villagers around the sanctuary and the exercise appears to be transferring Delhi’s problems to villagers.”


He said he would like to inspect the sanctuary to see the condition for which permission had been granted by the Chief Wild Life Warden, however due to a communication gap, he could not inspect it.


Both the appellant and the PIO agreed that Tanwar would visit the sanctuary for inspection on 16 June 2010. He would meet Dharam Singh, deputy range officer at Bhatti Range Office on the day. The PIO also pointed out that the monkeys in the wild life sanctuary can at times be violent and there may be some danger in visiting the sanctuary. Tanwar stated that he understood this.


While disposing the appeal, Mr Gandhi directed the PIO to facilitate an inspection by the appellant on 16 June 2010.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001052/8124

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001052


Appellant                                          : Om Prakash Tanwar

                                                            New Delhi- 110074.


Respondent                                       : Prabhat Tyagi

                                                            Public Information Officer &  

                                                            Dy. Conservator of Forest (South)

                                                            Forest & Wildlife Department,

                                                            Government of NCT of Delhi,

                                                            Near Karni Singh Shooting Range,

                                                            Tughlaqabad, New Delhi-44.


Are you ready for the rains in 2013? Watch out for these red flags
The much sought after monsoon is finally here. And with it come the usual issues of water-logging, illness, traffic jams and so on. Here is a compilation of information that would come handy during Monsoon 2013
After making us sweat and wait for over a week, the monsoon has finally arrived in Mumbai on its scheduled time. As usual, Mumbaikars should be ready for problems like water-logging, traffic jams, trains not running on time and most important, illnesses caused by the rains. After all, much of it is dictated by the tides. 
The Disaster Management Cell of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has studied the tides and its experts have flagged the days to watch out for.
High tides
As per the advisory, it is seen that during June there would be noteworthy high tides on three days, from 24th to 26th. On Monday, 24th June the high tide would be 4.89 meters (in height), while Tuesday, 25 June 2012 and Wednesday, 26 June 2012 are predicted to experience the highest tides of 4.97 meters and 4.93 meters, respectively.
July, August and September show an average that ranges between 4.51 and 4.95 meters. The highest tide is predicted to be that of 4.95 meters on 24th July. Rest all high tides till October 2013 would be of normal height.
The advisory also emphasized on a few important points that one should keep in mind. Turning off all electrical appliances and staying away from power lines in flooded areas are safe measures. One should also avoid contact with flood water as it may be contaminated.
If stranded in a vehicle, one should leave it and move to a place at a higher level, besides being aware of the potential flooding spots in one’s ward/area.
Six inches of moving water can result in one losing his/her balance and falling down, thus one should avoid walking through moving water. If required, a stick can be used to check the firmness of the ground in front. One should also try and identify/visit elevated areas in and around one’s home as places of refuge during floods.
In case of emergency
One very important point is to keep all emergency contact numbers handy for immediate use. Also, keep the “Family emergency supplies kit” ready for nutritional tips during the monsoons.
Safe Eating
Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables. Some measures such as eating in moderation are of great help—this is because the body finds it harder to digest food during the monsoon. One must stick to drinking warm beverages—tea with a hint of ginger or mint is recommended—during the season as well as for health purposes.
For vegetarians, moong dal, among other pulses, is easy to digest and should be the preferred choice of dal for the season. Garlic, ginger, pepper, jeera powder, turmeric, asafoetida (hing) and coriander help enhance digestion as well as improve immunity. Non-vegetarians should opt for lighter meat preparations like soups/stews, etc, rather than curries.
Drinking boiled and filtered water is a must, especially during this season. One should also ensure that water is consumed within 24 hours after it is boiled. Avoid eating junk food such as chaat items and fried items. Also avoid pre-cut fruits and juices from roadside vendors, this helps to prevent contracting serious infections such as viral fever, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases. They may seem quite tempting and an easy way out, but after all, prevention is better than cure.
Fruits such as bananas, apples, mangoes, pomegranates, cherries and litchis are recommended during this season. These are easily available and should be consumed fresh, not forgetting to wash them thoroughly before consuming. Non-leafy vegetables are recommended—these include snake gourd (turi), gourd (dudhi), pointed gourd (parwal), yam (suran), cluster beans (gavaar), apple gourd (tinda) and bitter gourd (karela).
Health is wealth
Diseases such as malaria, jaundice, cholera, dengue and many more are common during the monsoons and these create serious health hazards. These diseases prove to be healthcare disasters in our city, and it is therefore essential to take a few preventive steps.
The two most common types of diseases are water-borne or vector (carrier) borne. To prevent infection from water-borne diseases, it is very important to drink water from a safe source or basically, water that has been disinfected (boiled or chlorinated). Food items should be kept covered and should be cooked or reheated thoroughly and consumed while it is still hot.
Common things such as washing hands thoroughly with soap before preparing or eating food and after using the toilets is of utmost importance. Though we inculcate such ideas into our young kids, it is not uncommon that we may tend to forget them.
Some conditions to be kept in mind and highly avoided are drinking water from unsafe sources, eating uncooked food unless it is peeled or shelled. Fruits that are cut beforehand should be avoided. One should not litter the surroundings unnecessarily and maintain hygiene.
To prevent vector-borne diseases, one should use insecticide treated bed nets (ITBN) or insect repellents while sleeping. This can help keep away from mosquitoes. Clothes covering arms and legs are recommended to be worn during the rains. Do not forget to empty water containers at least once a week, besides covering and sealing septic tanks and soak away pits. Stagnant water from coolers and other places should be removed.
Fever cases should first be given preventive treatment for malaria.
Avoid accumulation of water in discarded items such as tyres, tubes, empty containers and objects where it may collect. Do not allow water to stagnate. Do not allow children to wear shorts and half sleeved clothes, especially in the evening.
Let’s join hands in making Mumbai a safer city and a better place to live in!

Here is the Monsoon Advisory for 2013 issued by United Way Mumbai Helpline...



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